This section is comprised of questions and answers for the case "The Business of Mentoring." It also contains questions for deeper reflection.

»Questions & Answers«

»The Business of Mentoring «

1: It appears early on that Dr. Michaels may have low expectations of Susan, or that he is, for other reasons, relatively passive with regard to Susanís progress. What is Susanís responsibility in this situation? »Answer

2: Dr. Michaels has many responsibilities as a professor, and he is also running a business. What is his responsibility as Susanís supervisor and mentor? »Answer

3: Susanís work on behalf of Dr. Michaelsí business is diverting her attention from meeting her own academic needs. Whose responsibility is it to insure that this does not happen? Is it ever appropriate for a graduate student to perform, on behalf of a faculty member, work that is not related to the studentís own academic work? »Answer

4: Is it appropriate for a lab director to advocate for a graduate student who is in a difficult academic situation? If so, what form should that advocacy take? »Answer

5: Whose responsibility is it to call committee meetings? What are the committee membersí responsibilities in this situation? Should anyone monitor the supervisor-trainee relationship? »Answer

6: Does Dr. Chen have any responsibility after Susan comes to talk to her? »Answer

7: Should Susan take any further actions with regard to Dr. Michaels and his lab before she decides to transfer? »Answer

8: Is Dr. Michaels acting reasonably in response to Susanís request for a letter of recommendation? What other options did Susan have in attempting to handle this situation? »Answer

9: What departmental policies might prevent, or help address, such a situation? »Answer

»Questions for Further Reflection«

1: What can be done to understand mentoring better? What quantitative and/or qualitative studies might be undertaken?

2: Mentoring is a highly useful tool. How can it be made a higher priority in your institution? What guidelines or programs are in place to promote mentoring in your lab/department/school/institution?

3: If a trainee believes that he or she has been seriously injured by something a mentor has done, how can the trainee seek redress? How should he or she proceed?

4: To what extent is empathy necessary on the part of the mentor? What about cultural or other differences when they interfere with understanding?

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